Airbus has opened ACJ TwoTwenty creative studio at its headquarters in Toulouse, France. Adjacent to the fuselage models for each Airbus model in Toulouse, where airlines can select interior configurations and materials, the creative studio is designed to help buyers complete the interior for their new ACJ TwoTwenty.
“We are extremely proud to open this unique creative studio to our clients,” said Benoit Defforge, president of Airbus Corporate Jets. “It’s important to make them feel the space and ultimate comfort it brings, thanks to the latest technologies we offer our customers, a real-time and immersive design experience.”
The creative studio’s development arose from discussions between team members and customers of Airbus Corporate Jets and the Comlux Group, the exclusive completion center for the first 15 ACJ Two Twentys. These will be performed at Comlux’s facility in Indianapolis, Indiana.
With no fully completed ACJ TwoTwenty demonstrators available yet, according to Chadi Saade, vice president of commercial of Airbus Corporate Jets, the company needed a way to help customers visualize the plane’s expansive cabin and decide how to do it. want to rest. “This is extremely important,” he said. While the creative studio will always be in addition to seeing the actual aircraft, he added: “This is a great first step in anticipation of the [demonstrator] airplanes. This will be an efficient tool to complete the design and selection of options.”
In the Airbus creative studio, AIN editor-in-chief Matt Thurber tries out the virtual reality ACJ TwoTwenty interior, where materials, colors and lighting effects can be quickly changed.
Airbus has taken a different approach with the interior of the ACJ TwoTwenty. While buyers of other ACJ models can customize their aircraft from a completely bare interior, TwoTwenty buyers start by choosing a configuration for each of the six zones, then choose from hundreds of finishing options for fabric, carpet, wood veneer and gold-plated metal.
With the online configurator, buyers can click on different furniture layouts per zone, including the full kitchen (galley). During their visit to the creative studio, buyers can see what their layout looks like in a full-size projection of the booth on the studio floor. After setting up a virtual reality (VR) headset, the customer can not only walk through the layout and view it in 3D, but also see and compare the material choices integrated into the VR display, as well as lighting effects. To get you started, customers can choose one of three optional cab designs or a special Cyril Kongo edition.
“We pre-define the options for the cabin,” said Sylvain Mariat, head of Airbus Corporate Jets creative design. “It was a huge discussion to make something easy for customization [of the cabin]† The creative studio is an extension of the concept of the A220, with many high-end tools and the latest technology for the customer to choose his interior. It was very exciting in my life and work at Airbus to design these kinds of specific projects. The result is very magical. We can go very far in customization and ultimately create something unique, depending on the customer’s taste.”
“Previously, we had a completely custom cab on the ACJ319 and ACJ320,” says Saade. “The customer needed a lot of support. Now the customer goes into the integrator and decides what it looks like. It’s very different from what we did before and like what others are doing. But that doesn’t mean they can’t customize their interior. There are 200 different colors and fabrics for them to choose from. That’s fine-tuning. Most of the customization is done [with the configurator] then the customer enters the general atmosphere with his own designer or with the help of Sylvain.”
After choosing their interior configuration, ACJ TwoTwenty buyers select materials and colors as part of their visit to Airbus’ creative studio in Toulouse, France.
With a floor space of 786 sqm, the ACJ TwoTwenty offers “double the space and volume of any other competitor aircraft, according to Airbus, while the jet’s external footprint is just slightly larger than its ultra-long-range, large cabin, target competitors for business jets built.The creative studio illustrates these differences to show potential buyers how the larger ACJ TwoTwenty cabin compares to its ultra-long-haul competitors.One of the key differences is that the ACJ’s engines are wing-mounted, allowing the cabin protrudes further aft, requiring much less space for equipment.A typical business jet with tail-mounted engines requires a significant amount of space in the rear fuselage for engine-related hardware and components, but that is not the case for a jet with wing-mounted engines.In the ACJ TwoTwenty, this feature adds 25 feet to the cabin length.
The cabin width of the Airbus jet is 10 feet 8 inches and the height is 6 feet 6 inches. The volume is 5,210 cu ft. Airbus compares the TwoTwenty cabin to the largest purpose-built business jets, the Dassault Falcon 10X, Bombardier Global 7500 and Gulfstream G700. The cab of the 10X is 9 feet 1 inch wide and 6 feet 8 inches long. The cabin of the Global 7500 is 8 feet wide and 6 feet 2 inches long. The cab of the G700 is 8 feet two inches wide and 6 feet 3 inches long.
In the creative studio ACJ TwoTwenty, a full-size cabin model is equipped with retractable elements.
The ACJ TwoTwenty can fly 5650 nm or 12 hours with eight passengers and has a maximum altitude of 41,000 feet. Typical cruising speed is Mach 0.78 and maximum working speed Mach 0.82. This is slower than the ultra-long-haul jets, which offer long-haul cruise speeds of about Mach 0.85 and high-speed cruises of Mach 0.90, with maximum altitudes of 51,000 feet.
Another feature in the creative studio is a mock-up of a cab section equipped with retractable leaf-like elements that illustrate the difference between the ACJ TwoTwenty and competitors’ cabs. With the blade elements retracted, the customer can see how movable demonstration seats fit into the ACJ TwoTwenty cabin, then, with the blades extended, compare the same seating layout and see how it fits into the smaller business jet cabin.
“It’s two to three times the size of other aircraft for the same purchase price,” says Saade. “In addition, it comes with a 30 percent lower operating costs. The experience you can have on board is unique, the space is unique. I really believe it’s going to be a game-changer.”
illustrating the size difference between the ACJ TwoTwenty cabin and typical modern ultra-long-haul business jets.
“This is an important market for us,” he says. The kind of customers that a [traditional ultra-long-range jet] said, “If I can get the same thing for the same price, two to three times the size of the cabin, with a good bedroom and dining table, then no problem.” The experience you can have on board is unique, the space is unique.”
“There is still room for the others [competing jets]’ said Mariat, ‘but for once we can compete [with them]†
Compared to large corporate jets, the ground area of the ACJ TwoTwenty is only slightly larger. Total length is 114 feet 9 inches and wingspan 115 feet 1 inch. In comparison, the Global 7500 is 111 feet long and has a wingspan of 104 feet. Tail height can be an issue for ACJ buyers, however, as many business jet hangars are designed for aircraft less than 30 feet high. The tail height of the ACJ TwoTwenty is 37 feet, 8 inches.
While the ACJ TwoTwenty uses more fuel, “it’s cheaper to run,” Saade said, because maintenance costs are lower. There are so many A220s in service with airlines that parts cost less and maintenance and training are available all over the world at reasonable prices, Saade said. The ACJ TwoTwenty’s two Pratt & Whitney PW1500G engines are designed to be rarely, if ever, removed for service. †[Operators] will probably never have to remove an engine,” he said, given the fewer hours of flight time that business jets typically fly. Also contributing to lower operating costs is the ACJ TwoTwenty’s low-use maintenance program.
Airbus has already made commitments for five ACJ TwoTwentys this year and a total of 10 orders since the jet’s launch. “We have not seen any delay [during the pandemic]’ said Sad.